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The Link Between Oral Bacteria and Stroke

Researchers have recently found a connection between the presence of oral bacteria and particular types of strokes. These bacteria may bind to blood vessels that are already weakened by age or health problems like high blood pressure and cause them to rupture. Here’s what post-stroke caregivers in Albuquerque need to know to reduce their loved one’s likelihood of stroke or stroke relapse.

Oral Bacteria and Stroke

A recent study at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center examined the presence of oral bacteria among seniors who were treated at the hospital after a stroke. They found that individuals who had an intracerebral hemorrhage had a significantly higher percentage of oral bacteria than those who had other types of strokes. They also found that individuals who had cerebral microbleeds, or small hemorrhages in the brain, had a higher percentage of this bacteria. Cerebral microbleeds may cause dementia and are often the underlying cause of intracerebral hemorrhage. 

Unlike ischemic strokes, which are caused when blood vessels that supply blood to the brain become blocked, the rupture of these vessels causes hemorrhagic strokes. These blood vessels weaken with age, putting seniors at a greater risk for this type of stroke. High blood pressure, another health problem commonly faced by seniors, also increases this risk.

Implications for Seniors

Since seniors are already at an increased risk of intracerebral hemorrhage, it is especially important that they maintain good oral health. Many seniors tend to have dental problems as well due to aging teeth, improper oral hygiene habits, or because of certain medications or medical conditions. Seniors with memory problems may forget to brush their teeth, and oral care may be difficult for those who have arthritis.

Live-in caregivers in Albuquerque can help by paying close attention to their loved one’s oral health. Family caregivers should make sure their loved one’s brush and floss twice daily, and schedule them for regular visits with their dentist. Good oral hygiene may help seniors reduce their risk of stroke. 

There are other ways family caregivers can help maintain their loved one’s health. Home Care Assistance is a dedicated home care agency in Albuquerque that helps seniors establish a balanced lifestyle to maintain overall health and wellbeing. Our compassionate caregivers help with everything from cognitive stimulation and emotional support to preparing nutritious meals and offering mobility assistance to help seniors effectively recover from stroke. To learn more about our stroke services, reach out to our experienced Care Managers by calling 505-798-0800 today and schedule a free consultation.